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Retail Trends for 2018: how retail is changing

  • Chloe Byrne
  • 15 January 2018

The Retail industry is changing, retailers are being forced to adapt. It is no longer about what retailers want but it’s all about the customer and the customer’s experience. Every aspect of purchasing must be easy and enjoyable for the consumer.

Simplifying Shopping

Players like Amazon will make it easier to buy through offering auto-renewals, one-tap purchases, and same-day delivery. Products like Alexa and Google Home could help with need to buy by removing the chore involved in shopping. Now, you can just tell the artificial intelligence.

Customisation

Customisation is set to continue as a key trend in 2018. Customisation will be detailed and allow shoppers to build their own products from scratch. This allows retailers to fit a unique experience into their store. The consumer wants something that fits their lifestyle and is unique to them.

Nike will be opening its new store in Times Square in New York with one of the main selling points being customisable shoes instore. You can already do this online with Nike ID. Personalisation is becoming a huge part of the Nike brand.

Personalisation has been cited as the number one investment by retailers in recent years according to Forrester Research but a survey done by retailers shows that 72% of them have planned to extend personalisation projects to stores.

Social Media

Social media is having a strong influence on retail trends now. With the likes of Instagram stories, Facebook live, and messenger apps, retail strategies have to adapt to meet their audiences. Retailers now need to use these apps to tell stories and engage customers with their brand.

Brick and Mortar (The Customer Experience)

People still go to physical stores because they want to get the instore experience. This ends as the perfect complement to online stores. Retailers who offer a unique instore experience will thrive. Offer customers an experience they won’t find anywhere else.

Retailers have started to move towards a more show room style store front. Permanent fixtures are changing how business is done. Sephora leading the way with reporting great results from their Beauty TIP workshops. It’s all about testing new experiences for the customer and if the idea fails, it fails fast and retailers can get up and try again.

Data

This year, more than ever, data will play a big role in retail especially as Big Data and machine learning continue to grow and mature. Forward thinking retailers will continue to explore ways to leverage data in their sales, marketing, customer service and business strategy.

Walmart is now using machine learning and Big Data in various aspects of their business. They use machine learning to optimise delivery routes. They also use facial recognition to spot unhappy or frustrated shoppers. That data can be used to tell associates to open new checkout lines.

It’s important to realise that data-driven retailing is for all sizes of business. Smaller retailers can gain actionable insights from using their data! Data also allows retailers to make products and experiences personalised to suit each customer, even with simple things like recommending products that suit a particular consumer.

Data allows you to make smarter decisions. At Real World Analytics we pull data from your EPoS system and turn them into easy to read actionable reports, the reports are emailed directly to your inbox to find out more click here.